Currently listening, part 1

Started by mgriffin, December 06, 2007, 02:02:28 PM

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Mark Mushet awful lot of Beatles. Yes, Spector ruined Let it Be and the mono mixes will likely win out on the early and mid-period stuff.

Parallel Worlds

Markus Reuter and Ian Boddy - Dervish
Seaworthy - Map In Hand
Willits and Sakamoto - Ocean Fires
Loscil - First Narrows
FourColor - Letter of Sounds


It's been just over 2 weeks now since coming back from Berlin, Germany seeing Tangerine Dream play at the Zitadelle Spandau (Rocking out the Bats). Forty two years and still sounding great in concert.  :)

I picked up Edgar's latest album's "Winter in Hiroshima" (4th album in a 5 series release-the 5th to be released next year) and mini cup disc EP "A Cage in Search of a Bird." I also picked up Thorsten's Quaeschning's Picture Palace Music  latest album - "Natatorium" cdr.  :) :) ;) His 5th and IMHO his best! For those not familiar with PPM, check out his My Space page.

So I've been listening to all 3 cd's for the last 2 weeks. Natatorium is probably the surprise album of the year in the EM catagory.


Elisa Luu, Chromatic Sigh. Someone to watch, I think. Very nice stuff....loungey, with noise at the edges. Makes me want more.
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Celer - "Brittle" and "Fountain Glider"  (some of the output can be hit or miss for me, but I am enjoying these two, which are low-key and remind me of their "Nacreous Clouds" release, though in longer form)
Robin Guthrie - Carousel (no surprises, but very pleasant anyway)



As of late:

Infinite Body - CMBCMEINAPTD - Teenage Teardrops - 12"
(Really not what I expected from this exceptional artist....somewhere between Eluvium and Fennesz...if you buy the vinyl you also receive the download ticket for MP3's as it is vinyl release....comes highly recommended as does the split he did with Emaciator four months ago on Monorail Trespassing(however these tracks are much fuzzier and crunchy).....)

Caboladies - Crowded Out Memory - Gneiss Things - CD-R
(Dingy packaging with cheap paper inserts but the music is worth the price alone....more abstract and electronic(in feeling) than previous releases...well if you consider the L.P. "Atomic Weekender" on Digitalis and the spilt cassette he did with Oneohtrix Point Never on NNA Tapes this is perhaps this finest moment yet from this trio...essential!!!)

Jefre Sei Getsu Ledesma - Namu Kie Butsu - NNA Tapes - Cassette
(Soft percolating drones....perhaps a moment of "Samadhi"...close your eyes and zero in on the nothingness within type music....might just be Jefre's most spiritual output yet!  Like everything else this artist touches...Gold Gold in tandem with the new Thomas Koner....)

Area C - Planetarium Project - Sedimental - 2xCD
(An artist I have come to appreciate in first many of his albums released on the Last Visible Dog Imprint never made a deep impression yet I was lured in and always had the nagging feeling the music would grow on me if I had patience.  Indeed last year he would release one of the more remarkable albums of the year "Sea Of Rains" which was an actual sound installation piece.  This album on the other hand has more in resemblance with his Students Of Decay album "Charmed Birds Against Sorcery" which is not a bad thing but I did feel that some tracks were a bit redundant.  Over all a 4 out of 5 but a valuable introduction to those who are curious about his sound)

Migrations In Rust – Seasons Cast In Pearl – Ekhein – Cassette
(Another artist of whom I have been particularly fond of...ever since his cassette on Episcene Sound Replica I have made a habit of recommending this artists work.  Although he did have a release on the Peasant Magick imprint which left me absolutely cold...and until this day I still don't understand how that was even made available....this release has much in common with the Accretions Disc "An Emblematic Departure" has this artist grown....someone please release a CD or CDR from this artist he deserves it in my opinion)

Strategy – Sines Of Life – Hello Square – 3"
(A lovely label that was brought to my attention through the work of Seaworthy/M. Rosner and Tom Hall "Crosses" which was absolutely brilliant....both of course...this however is not so brilliant...they describe this 3" to have similarities with Future Rock (Kranky release that for my money was a big let down) but instead I find it to have more similarities with his album on Audio Dregs "Music For Lamping" which was forgettable...but what I do miss is the sound of Strategy that was found on the 12" released on Low Point....perhaps the best moment from this artist)

Paul Fiocco – Torsions And Drifts – Meupe
(Been spending a lot of time researching ambient, experimental, drone, etc works from Australia and New Zealand. Came across this artist and was flabbergasted at the quality of the environmental drone I am very fond of the drones combined with environmental elements....very similar to Season's (pre-din) work and 5/5 for me as one of the stand out works of the year.....Paul is apparently also a member of the highly regarded group Solo Andata....who just released the equally amazing album "Solo Andata" on 12k just a few weeks ago)

Hakobune/Richard Lainhart – Split – Tobira Records – 10"
(Well you know what to expect from both of these artists....Hakobune is one of the bright upcoming stars of ambient music and Richard Lainhart is one of those obscure American artists who had been making drones since the late seventies.  As of late I have been hooked on the works of Richard Lainhart and shelled out some bucks and picked up a mighty dosage of his work on O-Town media which is limited and rare but a fine example of an artist that can hold his own with Steve Roach, Robert Rich, And Thom Brennan.... The vinyl is beautiful, unique, and enchanting!)

Duane Pitre – ED09 For String/Wind Ensemble Live At Roulette – Quiet Design – CD-R
(Anyone familiar with Cold Blue label out of Los Angeles know's that although their objective was not to create Ambient music.....but more or less "New Music" or post classical or call it what you want...the music often had an ambient feeling to it...for example the works of Chas Smith, Rick Cox, and Stuart Dempster although I know a large audience may disagree with me on that point.  Anyhow this label has for me taken the place of the Cold Blue of the past....listening to this work reminds me a tad of SOTL, Rick Cox, and Kerry Leimer)

Cylon – Resonanz – Dead Pilot – CD
(A nice little ambient drone treat....quality stuff from this completely unknown artist.  Has a free download available that's  bland but this work is of the utmost bliss...nothing remarkable in the sense of Steve Roach or APK....kind of reminds me of the droniest moments of Nunc artist that I will keep my eyes on)

Wow perhaps I went overboard with my list but it's been a while since my last post....


Wayne Higgins

I bought around 2500 albums this weekend for $125.  An antique shop is closing, so I bought all of the vinyl.  I took half of them home, will get the remaining half this coming weekend.  In the first 700, there were about 400 give aways, lps that I didn't want (X-mas, contemporary christian, bad shape), and I kept the rest.  Most of it is classical.  About 25 box sets, including a few operas.  A bit of Jazz, easy listening, rock, ect.  Some really cool stuff.  There were a couple of laser discs in the collection.  My back hurts, though.  I remember the drawback of the big record collection.  I did end up with 3 sets containing all of the Beethoven symphonies.  I kept the Deutsch Gramaphone and Columbia Red Seal (mono) sets and gave my son the 35 mm film recorded set.
So, I'm a "Sr Member", huh?  In June it's SENIOR DISCOUNT TIME!!!


The Moody Blues: On the Threshold of a Dream
The Circular Ruins / Lammergeyer / Nunc Stans

Brian Bieniowski

Have not posted here in a while, but there's no limit to new music ...

Adam Pacione—"Dobranoc" 10"
Another great Pacione release.  Not all that dissimilar to the kind of stuff coming out on his 3" subscription series (which is still, by the way, uniformly excellent).

Young guy from New Jersey (represent) doing White Rainbow-ish Terry Riley workouts and Vini Reilly-ish Durutti Column tracks.  Really good stuff, though kind of "light" and inconsequential, for lack of a better way to put it.

The Fun Years/.cut & Gibet split 10"
Picked this up at Other Music the other day, by surprise.  It was kind of expensive for a 10", but if you like the Fun Years, you know what you're getting.

This album is outstanding.  Kind of a mix of William Basinski atmospheres and Spacemen 3 phasing.  Probably one of the best ambient records of 2009, I'd think.

Julianna Barwick—Florine ep
Saw Barwick open a concert for Grouper and Tim Hecker just the other week.  She does very transporting ambient with only loops of her voice, which she constructs on the fly.  I found her more enchanting in concert than on record, but this is a very beautiful EP nevertheless.  Fans of Jim Cole/David Hykes need apply.

Thomas Köner—La Barca
Another gem from Köner.  This one reminds me of Nuuk with creepy orchestral sweeps and strange found-sound street samples.  Really excellent work.


Last few days:

Seasons (pre-din) - By The Banks Go Through - Thy Recs - CD-R
(Drones, tones, viaducts, and the sounds of the forest at night.  An artist who as of late has started to receive more attention by stronger experimental labels....Mystery Sea and Type Records....this release is still among my favorites and a defining moment for the enviromental drone crunch.)

Segue - Grey - Tokyo Droning - CD-R
(More acoustic in nature...past releases never seemed to focus on the guitar but more or less on the dub stabs, droning textures, sounds of water, and ghostly melodies.  Those elements are still present but the unexpected guitar pluckings caught me by suprise.  Not bad but not as strong as the Slow Flow release....)

Mountain Ocean Sun - Peace Conference - Home Normal - CD
(Personally I found this release to be unpleasant....although I might add every review i've read about this release has been shockingly supportive.  It's a drone record that offers nothing new or why all the fuss?  Boomkat went as far as making it the release of the week; Smallfish calls it "Stunning, dreamlike, harmonious"; Norman rec's gives it the reccomendation of the week.....clearly I am missing something or i've yet to understand.  Has anybody else found this release....interesting?)

On Now:
The Beautiful Schizophonic - Erotikon - Cronica - CD
(Superb...on track five right now!)


Mark Mushet

Early, pre-release mix of Loscil's Plume. I forgot how different it was to the final release. It's great, just different in terms of prominence of vibes, rhodes etc. here and there. Looking forward to the Ghostly International EP on October 6th...would rather it be a disc though. 


Lately, lots of great listening.

Roxy Music - Avalon
One of my all-time favorite pop/rock albums.  Just so evocative of a certain time and a certain feel, so sensitive, so compact.  I know cool music hipsters are supposed to dismiss the most popular albums by their favorite artists as being absolute crap, and it would probably be cooler for me to say "They were shit after Eno left" but the fact is, this album is just sublime.

Pet Shop Boys - Very
The last great Pet Shop Boys album, really perfect electronic pop music.  These guys never fail to put a smile on my face, and get me singing along (though Neil's range is waaaaay higher than mine).  The album version of "Can You Forgive Her?" is drastically inferior to the 12" version, though -- flat and lacking in energy.

Pet Shop Boys - Relentless
This was the club/techno "extra disc" included with the special edition of the above album.  Definitely reflects the pleasure of dancing in the clubs in the late 80s and early 90s.  I'm not sure if this was really a historically great time in the dance clubs, or if everyone thinks that whatever era happened in their twenties was a historically great time in the dance clubs, but this album is a lot of fun.  "My Head Is Spinning" is a favorite.

Tetsu Inoue - Organic Cloud
Pretty nice ambient recording from the golden age of the FAX label.  Perfectly enjoyable and yet not as smashingly wonderfully sublimely great as my recollection of this album.

Thomas Koner - Kaamos
One of his later albums, but still quite nice, subterranean dark-ish minimal ambient on the Mille Plateaux label.  I'm told this one is rare and valuable now, which is funny.  I still like the early ones (Nonatak Gongamur (sp?), Teimo, Permafrost, and Aubrite) better I think.  I haven't heard Daikan yet -- anybody?
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) | |

Dave Michuda

Volcano Choir - unmap - Being a Wisconsinite myself, I was interested to hear this collection of Wisconsin artists recording together for the first time.  It's Justin Vernon, who records as Bon Iver, and an instrumental band called Collections of Colonies of Bees.  so far it's a wonderful album.  Part folk, part post-rock, at times atmospheric.  A very nice listen.

Also playing the Steve Roach box set quite a bit.(#145)  I like Afterlight & Immersion 4, expecially Immersion.  Destination beyond is okay.


Ive been enjoying

- Saul Stokes: Metacollage  (Great to hear this more pared-down, live sound from Saul. Its subtle. Its excellent)
- Stars of the Lid: mix of tracks  (Nice to get back to them)
- Modell and Mantra: Sonic Continuum  (Especially like the mood and general hissy sample-chaos of the first track)

Also looking forward to the Roach boxed set, but its not arrived up here in the attic of America yet.
The Circular Ruins / Lammergeyer / Nunc Stans

Mark Mushet

Quote from: mgriffin on September 24, 2009, 01:24:57 PM

Thomas Koner - Kaamos
One of his later albums, but still quite nice, subterranean dark-ish minimal ambient on the Mille Plateaux label.  I'm told this one is rare and valuable now, which is funny.  I still like the early ones (Nonatak Gongamur (sp?), Teimo, Permafrost, and Aubrite) better I think.  I haven't heard Daikan yet -- anybody?

I go for the MP double of Teimo/Permafrost most often, but Kaamos is a fave. I will now re-visit Daikan and give La Barca another go. I have all of his discs but tend to listen to them in the fall/winter.

Brian Bieniowski

I don't know if it's sacrilegious, but I have always preferred the Roxy Music albums after Eno, especially Country Life and Avalon.

I like all of the Köner albums, though I must admit Nunatak Gongamur gets a little too weird for me and I haven't played it in a long time.  Apparently they are all out of print?  I like Daikan very much; it may be his "warmest" album, though I guess it's all a matter of relatives.

This morning:
David Tagg—Wind Blown Guitar

Wayne Higgins

Not sacreligious, I don't care much for the first (maybe it's a Peter Sinfield thing), but "for your pleasure" is great.

anyway, plodding thru the album stack

the other night we listened to
Kay Starr "Weepers Losers"
Harry Belefonte and Lena Horne "Porgy and Bess"
Barbara Streistand "People"
The Carpenters "Horizon"
The Shocking Blue
and one of an 8 record set of Nat King Cole

I'm separating every thing into Classical, Pop/Easy Listening, Jazz, Rock, and WTF?!?!

So far the treasures have been a mint copies of Mike Oldfield "Tubular Bells", Walter Carlos "Switched on Brandenbergs".  Most all of it is in good condition (the ones I kept, anyway). ;)
So, I'm a "Sr Member", huh?  In June it's SENIOR DISCOUNT TIME!!!

Mark Mushet

Quote from: Brian Bieniowski on September 25, 2009, 05:53:15 AM
I don't know if it's sacrilegious, but I have always preferred the Roxy Music albums after Eno, especially Country Life and Avalon.

Agreed, though For Your Pleasure is great. I think the split was beneficial for all concerned and the ongoing, shared orbits among various musicians on all sides yielded a lot of great music.

NP: Fred Frith To Sail, To Sail


Yesterday and Today:

Aidan Baker - The Taste Of Summer On Your Skin - Taalem - 3" CD-R
(Few years old just decided to spin it and give it go...suprisingly Aidan Baker has not released much material this year.  I've noticed two comps in the last year that have focused on obscure releases and a Nadja compendium.  Really the only release with fresh material is the new one on Install "Dry".....can't wait to get around to it and he'll be stopping by in Los Angeles in October can't wait for that that show as Pedestrian Deposit, Nadja, Infinite Body, and someone else.....then a few days later Steve Roach in Pomona...Damm many shows to attend in the month of October)

Machinefabriek - Tapes Of The Day - Machinefabriek (White) - CD-R
(Feild recordings of Israel that he used for a live performance.  Sort of like a audio journal...instead of writing your memories you record them...I actually did the same thing a few months ago when I visited the south east portion of the United States...when you capture the enviroments at specefic moments your memories are that more vivid)

Final - 3 - Neurot Recs - CD
(I've always felt that Final was always beyond the other experimental musicians and ambient guitar distorters.  Fennesz, Lawrence English, Ben Frost, Aidan Baker are great but it seemed to me that Justin Broaderick was doing the same thing 5 years before and received as absolutley no seems that Fennesz gets all the credit for "Hotel Paral.el" and "Endless Summer"...but really Final and Rafael Toral were doing it way before and an excellent job as well listen to "1" and "Solaris"or Toral's "Wave Field" and "Sound Mind Sound Body")

On Now:
Nicholas Szcepanik - The Chiasmus - Basses Frequences/SRA - CD
(More of the same drone poems ala Andrew Chalk and PAul Bradley....quality but nothing that exciting)


Scott M2

Quote from: mgriffin on September 24, 2009, 01:24:57 PM
Roxy Music - Avalon
One of my all-time favorite pop/rock albums.  Just so evocative of a certain time and a certain feel, so sensitive, so compact.  I know cool music hipsters are supposed to dismiss the most popular albums by their favorite artists as being absolute crap, and it would probably be cooler for me to say "They were shit after Eno left" but the fact is, this album is just sublime.

Mike - If you have a surround sound system with an SACD player - the 5.1 mix of this album is one of the best ever!
Ferry's "Boys and Girls" album is also blessed with a wonderful 5.1 mix.